Words from the Heart for Friday March 24th, 2017
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 (NRSV)
The Gift of God
Sin brings its own reward. How very sad but true it is that the payment of sin is death. We thank the Lord that the announcement does not stop there. There is an available free gift of eternal life. Christ Jesus has made it possible. As we look at this wonderful gift, make a list today of those of your friends or family that must hear the good news. Bring their names before the Lord in prayer.
It has been argued that one of the greatest gifts ever given to Canada were the stories of Lucy Maude Montgomery. Her heartwarming stories have become popular in many countries around the world and bring tens of thousands of tourists to Prince Edward Island each year. Montgomery’s life was not easy, however, and her stories were often the means of her own relief from the challenges of her life. Her husband, who was a minister, suffered from deep depression. Her son Chester was a shady lawyer, brilliant manipulator and probably a psychopath. According to author Mary Henley Rubio, in her 2016 book The Gift of Wings, shows how Lucy’s moods rose and fell in sync with Chester’s life. She became dependent on prescription sedatives and in 1942 she died of an apparent overdose.
We all love gifts. They tell us that someone loves us and wants to bless us. I have never turned down a gift in my entire life and it is unlikely I ever will. But the greatest gift ever offered is often rejected and for the life of me, I don’t understand it. Romans 6:23 tells us “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eternal life is a gift. It was purchased by Jesus when He took the punishment on the cross that we deserve as sinners. And when He burst forth from the tomb on that first Easter, death was defeated forever and the gift of eternal life is now offered. There is a reason why Romans 6:23 is one of the best loved verses in the Bible. Every religious system in the world calls its followers to have to do something to appease their god. Do enough good, they say, and maybe you can do enough to appease that god. Work hard and try to earn your way in to whatever is promised in the religion. What a contrast to the Christian faith. The works part in this verse is the works of sin. And the salary is death. That’s all that works in the Christian faith. Keep doing what you are doing and you will earn death. But Jesus stands before you and offers you eternal life as a gift. Will you receive it?
These have been words from the heart.